Video capturing the band Ed Hale & the Transcendence performing a rousing live version of the song “Caetano” from their Nothing Is Cohesive album at New York’s Cutting Room for a Fieldhouse/BMG Showcase. Featuring Fernando Perdomo, Ed Hale, Bill Sommer, Roger Houdaille and Ricardo Mazzi. Filmed by Robert Seoane.
The original title of this post was “Christianity Is Making Progress Towards Enlightenment… But Needs to Do it Faster”. But after the final read-thru edit, that didn’t quite seem to sum up its core message. It’s important to note however that the reason for the original title is because despite the ideas expressed below, especially regarding the apparent backwards direction many christian churches around the world are moving in, along with seemingly every other major world religion, there are plenty of others, just not in the majority, that are making great strides toward becoming more progressively minded institutions that embody the highest ideals of enlightenment, or what we might call an enlightened humanism for the modern world we live in. Refuges for both the spiritually hungry and compassionate AND the liberally minded intellectual. It’s not all bad news out there. There just happens to be a lot less of them than there are the more rigidly close minded so called fundamentalist types.
If one is not specifically a Christian, or better put, an actively participating Christian, then it would be easy to not notice what has been happening in the various denominations of the larger world of Christendom over the last few years. That’s a given. And one would have a valid excuse for not being up to date on the latest and greatest hits of the Christian world. After all, a healthy majority of people – especially in the united states and in The West in general have moved to a more non-religious secularism in the modern world we live in, due in part to the fact that for thousands of years we as humans have witnessed religion in all its various shapes and forms do almost nothing but cause great pain in the world. So this mass shift towards what is known as secular humanism or the now popular “spiritual but not religious” makes sense.
But there are massive shifts that are taking place in the Christian world (and in the Muslim and Buddhist communities) presently that are important to take note of due to the transcendent nature of the very real threat they pose of infringing on the basic rights and freedoms of our fellow man. Regardless of whether one is religious or not. Some of these radical movements further right unfortunately align with similar shifts within other world religions and the more fervent nationalist fervor that is taking place politically around the world. Various Christian protestant denominations are beginning to swing further toward what they consider a more “conservative” fundamentalist or evangelical agenda. And these moves have the potential to have larger reverberations socially that extend beyond the confines of their local church community.
It shouldn’t matter where a person is being hurt or neglected; only that when it becomes known, that there are those who are willing to reach out and come to their aid.
Three states in the US have already made moves this year that come very close to banning abortion, Georgia, Alabama and then Missouri. Which would be shocking to learn, except for the fact that we are now being bombarded by such an onslaught of so much shocking news on a daily and even hourly basis that much of it seems to go over our heads.
Christians and the LGBTQ Community
In regards to the LGBTQ community, The United Methodist Church recently convened late last year to announce that they intend to make their “rules” stricter to allow less inclusion, fewer rights and permit less tolerance of people of this persuasion. You can read more about it here: United Methodist court upholds Traditional Plan’s ban on LGBTQ clergy, same sex marriage
Friends from College (TV Series 2017– 2019)
I’m the first to admit that finding good content, let alone great content, on @netflix isn’t easy. It can lead to some seriously long boring scroll time. In their defense, Netflix has brought us some good content through the years, including but certainly not limited to Peaky Blinders, House of Cards, Daredevil (the first two seasons were “okay”….), Travelers, Maniac, Love, Santa Clarita Diet, Dead to Me, El Ministerio Del Tiempo, Arrested Development (okay so yeah that show has seriously jumped the shark at this point….), the first season of Ozark and the first season of Narcos, Bloodline, and many others…. They also feature a pretty decent movie and docs collection to stream for free as well that alone makes the service well worth the low monthly fee.
BUT more importantly their 24/7 open format, binge-ready batch delivery system and open mindedness to creativity has led to a true content (and delivery) revolution. (No i don’t get why the old networks haven’t caught on yet….) Friends From College showed that Netflix could step up and produce real content, quality network content if it really wanted to. Not just silly kids stuff. Ironically the show is a bit controversial on IMDB in that people either love it or loathe it. Like everything today for some reason. Why people profess to “loathe” the show in their reviews, I honestly have no idea. But it’s lighthearted and over the top take on the challenges and realities of friendship and growing up is often laugh out loud hilarious and moving. Especially if you see your own life mirrored back to you in the show’s intelligent and often witty writing and story lines. more “Friends From College Showed That Not All Netflix Content Has to Be Horrible”
Today I woke up and quickly but begrudgingly remembered that there was an Occupy Seattle rally happening downtown. From where we live, way out in the rural burbs (one would be hard pressed to call this the burbs truth be told… houses are separated by blocks if not miles and the nearest store is a few miles away…) I was well aware that trekking to downtown Seattle for an early morning march would take about an hour. Besides all the prep work and getting showered and dressed. Seemed like a lot of work and honestly I just wanted to sleep in. But the thought haunted me…. Was it really okay if we just skipped this rally? More apt, would WE be okay if we just skipped it? How would we feel afterwards? It didn’t feel good.
Revered Disney Chief Officer Bob Iger made a simple statement this afternoon about his decision to cancel the new Roseanne series reboot on ABC based on her posting a rather racist comment on Twitter about former Obama White House advisor Valerie Jarret (weird, right?), saying “It took us about 2 hours to discuss the details. No time at all. Obviously a lot of people are going to lose their jobs because of Roseanne’s behavior and that’s never a good thing. But no, there’s no debate when it comes to doing what is morally right, at least not for us.”
It’s bold to stay committed to respect, basic human decency and the pursuit of noble goals in a society gone mad. So kudos to Mr. Iger. Was it fair? Well, that’s a debate that will probably rage on for years to come. But as long as the United States is still a capitalist democracy, hell yes it’s fair. Roseanne worked for Disney. Disney works for their shareholders, and they clearly know what said shareholders expect from them. Racism is not one of those things. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find anyone who delights in racism except for fringe elements of society. And though yes even their rights to free speech are protected, it doesn’t mean we have to hire them or even associate with them. Thank God for free market capitalism and democracy. If your check says Disney or ABC (one of its many subsidiaries) on it, then they have a right to fire you just as much as they do to hire you. Govern yourself accordingly.
What occurred to me at first was a little bit of shock — Roseanne just recently returned to mainstream relevance after two decades of being largely ignored. I’m personally not a fan. But couldn’t help but be happy for her. But now this…? Always controversial, her comment today wasn’t a funny joke as much as just a dumb jab. Albeit a peculiar and random one (Valerie Jarret? Really?) with an overtly racist tone. But then again modern American comedy is filled with offensive and shocking vulgarity and racism. Its rampant. And literally unwatchable if you have more refined tastes. So what’s the difference here? The platform? Twitter versus Comedy Central? more “Disney Pulls the Plug on Roseanne for Racist Tweet — Fair?”
I remember it. Be. Do. Have. One of the multitude of platitudes I heard on the path to enlightenment pre-avatar course. Pitched as an easy path to create the life of your dreams. I was intrigued by the vibe. Also felt that like a Zen koan in that it could be interpreted in a variety of different ways.
I remember reading an article in the avatar journal when I was still young, but keenly chasing the path to awakening, by a man named Keith Varnum, who as fate would have it would years later turn out to be my masters master. In the article he explained why affirmations and pretending and even prayers don’t usually work that great for reality creation. Because you’re trying to install new beliefs (software) smack dab on top of older beliefs (an older OS). You have to get in there and dislodge the previous program before you can install new software. You have to discreate prior created beliefs before you go trying to create new ones if they directly oppose each other. Logical.
I was in my teens at the time. It would be a few more years before I took the Avatar Course. But what he said made perfect sense to me at the time. It helped me understand why affirmations and prayers and “be do have” didn’t work that well, and inspired me to take the avatar course as soon as I was able to. The ability to not just control what is happening to us, but to create and discreate the underlying beliefs. This was a revolutionary idea back then. Still is to most people. Sounds like voodoo. But after 20+ years of practicing using the knowledge and tools and countless courses, I can attest that it’s very real. In reality we change our beliefs all the time in the real world. Perhaps not deliberately, but we do. It’s not that mind blowing. more “Be Do Have? Not So Much”
CBS News revealed today that under Trump’s watch, the U.S. national debt tops $21 trillion for first time ever. Click here to read.
Twenty-one TRILLION dollars. That’s $21,000,000,000,000. A lot of zeros. The largest national debt in the history of human civilization.
To be fair, this has very little to do with Donald Trump. That’s just CBS playing politics as usual for clickbait. Trump hasn’t been POTUS long enough. Though some might argue that the historic tax break legislation that he and the republican led congress just passed helped contribute to this staggering imbalance (and will add even more to it down the road). But many will also jump out of their SUVs to blame Obama for it. And still others will point to the fact that the George W. Bush administration and their endless “wars on terror” are what really ramped up this new trend in American over-spending. All would be right.
Not that anyone likes thinking about this topic, but what I tend to contemplate a lot regarding the mind boggling National Debt figure above and its ramifications is that statistically we know that once a country’s debt reaches 60% of its GDP, that country historically plunges into a deep depression or even falls apart into panic and chaos, unless it institutes extremely painful “austerity” measures (think cutting back on spending for the most basic of people’s everyday necessities…). Which often leads to bloody revolts and revolutions.
(People generally don’t like starving. And more apt, humanity has reached a new era where many believe that they have a right to being taken care of by very big governments and they have deliberately voted in governments who do just that. (Think Socialism or Communism). And some might even point to modern day America as well. What are commonly referred to as “Entitlements” or “social welfare spending” has reached an epic sixty-some percent of the annual budget in the U.S. It didn’t always used to be this way. It doubles how much is spent on defense, for reference. (Although the U.S. still also manages to spend more on defense (think weapons of war and Intelligence) annually than all other nations on earth combined.)
Even when a country enforces strict austerity measures on its people for years at a time in order to try to pay down its debt, it still often presents numerous challenges to ever escape the clutches of the growing interest payments, it’s currency turns near worthless and it finds itself unable to end the death cycle. more “Does the National Debt Even Matter in the Age of American Empire?”
A new survey released today seems to imply that a majority of Americans are completely unaware of the criminal activities uncovered thus far by the Robert Mueller investigation of their 2016 presidential election. See the full story here.
Regardless of which side of the partisan fence one might reside in (even if one identifies as being firmly in the middle), these recent poll results regarding the Mueller investigation are compelling. One might conclude preliminarily that the “reality star” effect of the Trump presidency may be more powerful than anything fundamentally true, real or factual.
And that could be a trend we would surely not prefer when it comes to our government or governmental employees like Mr. Trump.
This would seemingly, and hopefully, apply despite how much one approves or disapproves of the president, his policies or his performance over the last year and a half. Pomp, bluster, controversy and noise should never outweigh a people’s ability to see and measure reality. In a perfect world at least. Though that’s certainly never seemed to sway us in the past in regards to political figures.
The question is, have we crossed over a new threshold this time? Has our national obsession with celebrity (over substance?) eclipsed our more adult senses of reason and rational judgment? And to be clear (and fair) one recognizes that Trump is not America’s first experimental “celebrity as president” or “president turned celebrity”. Think Obama or Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan or even JFK.
But with that said, is there something inherently unique or different about the cult of The Donald in terms of the office of American president? A blindness to something glaringly irrational and unreasonable that only a few can see? Or is it business as usual? That’s not a question that’s easy to answer if one stretches beyond the scope of partisan leanings or bias. more “Does Noise Trump Truth In Present Day America? (And Other Revelations from the Mueller Investigation)”